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Rating:A Goldman Vet Starts His Own Fund Firm Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, June 19, 2015

A Goldman Vet Starts His Own Fund Firm

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

A Goldman Sachs Investment Management and closed-end-fund-investing veteran has launched his own mutual fund firm, with help from Harborside Group and Value Line and with a focus on what he calls "opportunistic strategies."

Steven W. Sansom
Worthington Funds
On January 30 Memphis, Tennessee-based Worthington Funds debuted its first mutual fund, the Worthington Value Line Equity Advantage Fund. Steve Sansom — a 10-year veteran of Goldman and an alumnus of Merrill, Green Square Capital, and Center Coast Capital — spent a couple of years building the firm and prepping its first product. He plans to launch four or five more funds down the line.

Value Line subadvises the new fund, which is part of the Value Line fund trust. And Harborside is helping out with distribution in the RIA channel.

"Our core area of focus is with RIAs and the clients they serve," Sansom says.

The startup is independent and owned by its employees, Sansom says. The Worthington name, Sansom tells MFWire, is a derivative of his wife's maiden name, Whittington.

"We wanted the name to stand for stability and value," Sansom says. "Worthington has that sort of established and substantial feel ... It's a very old school name, but the colors [bright green] are sort of new and fresh."

Worthington's three unifying principles, Sansom says, are discipline, innovation, and results. He's also specifically focused on niche, opportunistic strategies that don't lend themselves to gigantic portfolios and thus may be less appealing to giant fund firms. For instance, for Worthington's first fund, which invests in undervalued equity closed-end funds and is built on a portfolio algorithm built by Value Line and Worthington, Sansom estimates that the maximum capacity is about $800 million.

"We're not a 'me-too' manager," Sansom says. "We look for areas where we see high degrees of market inefficiency."

Sansom is also trying to position Worthington as a thought leader. A section of Worthington's website, called "the College of Intelligent Investing," will offer educational information and market commentaries aimed at RIAs and high net worth investors. 

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